Thursday, March 31, 2016

Directional Devo - Ephesians 4:8-10

In today's devotion, we continue to look at what happened between Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. 

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Directional Devo - Ephesians 4:6-10

In today's devotion,  Paul tells us that we each have enough grace for what God has for us and what Jesus did to appropriate this grace between his crucifixion and resurrection.  

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Directional Devo - Ephesians 4:3-4

In today's devotion, we pick back up in the study to talk about the marks of the true Body of Christ, how it is to behave, and what true friendship is.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

The Passion Week, Part 5

In today's study we conclude our look at Luke 19:28-42 and Daniel 9 to see that the day in which Christ entered the Eastern Gate into Jerusalem, which we call Palm Sunday, was prophesied by the prophet Daniel. 

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Passion Week, Part 4

In today's study we continue to look at Luke 19:28-42 and Daniel 9 to see that the day in which Christ entered the Eastern Gate into Jerusalem, which we call Palm Sunday, was prophesied by the prophet Daniel.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Passion Week, Part 3

In today's study we continue to look at Luke 19:28-42 and Daniel 9 to see that the day in which Christ entered the Eastern Gate into Jerusalem, which we call Palm Sunday, was prophesied by the prophet Daniel.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Passion Week, Part 2

In today's study we continue to look at Luke 19:28-42 and Daniel 9 to see that the day in which Christ entered the Eastern Gate into Jerusalem, which we call Palm Sunday, was prophesied by the prophet Daniel.

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Monday, March 21, 2016

The Passion Week, Part 1

In today's study we look closely at Luke 19:28-42 and Daniel 9 to see that the day in which Christ entered the Eastern Gate into Jerusalem, which we call Palm Sunday, was prophesied by the prophet Daniel.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Twoedged Sword - Revelation 1:16


Last week, we left off talking about the sword mentioned in Revelation 1:16 where it says, “And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” If you study the history of the two edged sword, you will find that it was developed and mastered by the Romans. As a matter of fact, it is credited with the rapid rise of the Roman Empire. 

While Rome had many strengths, it is no doubt that the two edged was one of its greatest. When other nations were still using a single edged sword that could only cut one direction in combat, the Romans had mastered the two edged sword that could cut in both. Therefore, the Roman solder was twice as lethal as their enemy on the battlefield. Their sword definitely gave them a great advantage.

Another interesting note is that the Word of God is compared to a two edged sword as we mentioned last week. As a two edged sword it represents the Word of God.  Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” This verse shows us both the truth and the severity of the Word of God. If it is allowed to cut one way, it can be a surgical scalpel that the Master Physician uses to repair heal, remove, and restore. Ephesians 5:27 speaks of this process when it says, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” 

However, the Word of God may also cut another way and be an instrument of judgment. The Bible says that when Jesus returns for the second time in Revelation 19:15 that “…out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” So, the Word of God can be both an instrument of healing and an instrument of judgment. It’s entirely up to us which way it will cut in our lives. Which way is it cutting in your life?

Notice also in this verse that "his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.” I am reminded of Exodus 33:18-22 when Moses asked the Lord if he could see Him. God’s response was, “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” 

Can you imagine the brilliance of God? He told Moses that no man could look upon Him and live to tell about it. John 1:18 says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” In the end, Moses was only allowed to see God’s “back parts” (Ex 33:23), and yet we’re told in Exodus 34:29-35 that Moses’ skin was so bright after being exposed to God’s “back parts” that the people couldn’t even look at him. We are future told that Moses had to cover his face with a veil so that the people could even be in his presence. Can you imagine what would have happened if Moses had seen God’s face? He probably would have been vaporized!

You know that’s the way it should be. People should know when we’ve been in the presence of God. Acts 4:13 says, “And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” I’ll be honest, some of the nastiest, bitterest, and meanest people I know, claim to be Christians. They look like they’ve been baptized in lemon juice every time I see them! They are always mad about something or someone. If they really are the Christians they claim to be, it’s obvious that they have not been in God’s presence for quite some time. They are not giving off any glow that I can see. How about you? Do people know that you’re a Christian by your glow?    

Directional Devo - Ephesians 4:1-2

In today's study we find that Paul now transitions from doctrine to duty by asking each of us walk worthy in lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, and in love.


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I am also now live streaming each devo on Facebook, Monday through Friday, at 6:30 a.m. Join me and say hello!

 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Directional Devo - Ephesians 3:14-21

In today's study we see how Paul's prayer is that the inner man might be strengthened so that Christ might dwell in our hearts by faith, to the end that we might be rooted and grounded in love. 

I am also now live streaming each devo on Facebook, Monday through Friday, at 6:30 a.m. Join me!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Directional Devo - Ephesians 3:9-13

In today's study we see that it has been God's plan all along for the Jew and the Gentile to be brought into one body called the church by the preaching of the gospel.

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Portrait of Jesus - Revelation 1:11-16

Let’s pick up our study this week in Revelation 1:11 where it says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." Here are the instructions that are given to John. He is to write everything that he sees in a book and send it to seven churches in Asia.

Now look at v.12, “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands.” We will find out later in v.20 that these seven golden lampstands represent each of the seven churches that are mentioned in v.11. 

Now notice v.13-14, “and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;” It’s interesting that we really do not have a detailed physical description of Jesus anywhere in the Bible or in history. We don’t know how tall he was. We don’t know if he had curly or straight hair. There are just no real details given on his physical appearance.

Something that I have found as I have traveled all over the world as a serviceman, missionary, and pastor is that we all want to portray him as looking like “us”. I’ve seen a black Jesus, a white Jesus, a Hispanic Jesus, and an Asian Jesus. However, in reality he was a Jewish Jesus and as such, looked like a Jew. Also, in Isaiah 53:2-3 we told that he was not out of the ordinary or above normal in his looks and appearance when it says, “For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” I’m humored many times when I see the pictures of Jesus with blue eyes and the perfectly manicured beard. It’s almost a “Glamour Shots” portrayal of him. That’s not what the Bible teaches about his appearance. He was a normal man to look upon.

Look at v.15-16 which says, “His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.” Brass in the Bible always represents judgment and that’s exactly what Jesus is going to bring with him at his Second Coming in Revelation 19. 

Notice also that he “had in His right hand seven stars.” We are told in v.20 that these seven stars are the seven angels to each of the seven churches. The word angel means messenger. Since John was writing this letter to real churches, we can only assume that these angels are terrestrial (earthly) and not celestial (heavenly). After all, it was the earthly angels that were going to have to read the letters to their churches. So, the angels are the pastors of the seven churches. It feels pretty good to be reminded that I and my other pastor friends are referred to as angels in the Bible. I wish everyone thought of us that way!

And then finally, look at the last part of the verse that says, “out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword.” The sword is the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Also, Paul when speaking to the Ephesian church in Ephesians 6:17 encouraged them to “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” We will discuss this in more detail next time.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Modern Thinker's Creed - Steve Turner


We believe in Marx, Freud,and Darwin. We believe everything is OK as long as you don’t hurt anyone to the best of your definition of hurt, and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage. We believe in the therapy of sin. We believe that adultery is fun. We believe that sodomy’s OK. We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything’s getting better despite evidence to the contrary. The evidence must be investigated And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there’s something in horoscopes UFO’s and bent spoons. Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Muhammed, and ourselves. He was a good moral teacher though we think His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-at least the one that we read was. They all believe in love and goodness. They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing Because when you ask the dead what happens they say nothing. If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its compulsory heaven for all excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn.

We believe in Masters and Johnson. What’s selected is average. What’s average is normal. What’s normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament. We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed. Americans should beat their guns into tractors. And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good. It’s only his behavior that lets him down. This is the fault of society. Society is the fault of conditions. Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him. Reality will adapt accordingly. The universe will readjust. History will alter. We believe that there is no absolute truth excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds, And the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be the Father of all flesh, disaster is his rainbow in the sky and when you hear State of Emergency! Sniper Kills Ten! Troops on Rampage! Whites go Looting! Bomb Blasts School! It is but the sound of man worshiping his maker.

Directional Devo - Ephesians 3:1-8

In today's study we find that Paul was persecuted by the Jews for teaching two things specifically: salvation is apart from the Law and for Jew and Gentile alike.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Directional Devo - Ephesians 2:11-22

In today's study we see how that God through Christ has removed the wall of division between Jew and Gentile and between man and Himself.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Hero of the Faith

This weekend I was able to visit the grave site of one of my heroes of the faith: Dr. Harold B. Sightler.

Turned Unto Fables

2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.



Friday, March 4, 2016

The First Day - Revelation 1:8-10


Let’s look at Revelation 1:8 today where it says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," saith the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." It cannot escape notice that Jesus uses the same description of Himself as God does of Himself back in verse 4 when He said, “Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come.” This is another proof text for the Trinity.

Now let’s take a look at verse 9, “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” In this verse, John gives two reasons why he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos: "For the word of God" and "for the testimony of Jesus Christ." I can’t think of any better reason for a man to be imprisoned than that! Peter said in 1 Peter 2:20, “For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.” It’s a whole lot better to go to jail for your faith than for your faults.

Notice verse 10 which says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.” The Lord’s Day is Sunday. Two great things happened on Sunday. First, the resurrection of Jesus Christ happened on Sunday. It says in John 20:1, “The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.” Second, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church occurred on Sunday in Acts 2:1-4. Some will say these verses in Acts don’t specifically mention that it was the first day of the week. No, they don’t, but Leviticus 23:15-16 does. The verse is speaking of the day of Pentecost when it says, “And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD”. The “day after the seventh Sabbath” is Sunday. The Bible teaches that the early church always worshipped on Sunday. It says in Acts 20:7, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread,…” They were gathering for communion and Bible study on Sunday.

It also says, when speaking of when the offering was to be taken that it was to be done on Sunday. 1 Corinthians 16:2 says, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him...” Clearly, the early church worshiped on Sunday. Now, I know that there are those within the church today who are convinced that we must all worship only on the Sabbath or Saturday. I’m not here to knock them in any way. However, I will go to Scripture on anyone who tries to put me back under the Old Testament Law. Jesus came and fulfilled the Law so that I would not have to. If I could have done it myself, Jesus would not have had to do it for me. When Jesus prayed in the garden, “O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done” (Matthew 26:42); what He was in essence saying was, “Father, if this is not the only way for man to be saved, don’t make me do this.”  Of course, God’s answer was delivered in the form of a kiss (Matthew 26:48-49).

The Bible warns us in Galatians 5:1 to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage”. It goes on to say in verse 2, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.” We must choose whether we want to live under the Law and thus be judged by it, or accept the deliverance from the Law that comes by faith in Jesus Christ.

Directional Devo - Ephesians 2:1-10

In today's study we see that as Christ has been raised into heavenly places, so also have those who have placed their faith in him. As a result, we are coheirs with Christ. We also take a look at the importance of works in the life of a believer.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Directional Devo - Ephesians 1:15-23

In today's study Paul tells the Ephesian church that he is praying that the Lord would grant them the knowledge, revelation, and wisdom to not only understand their faith, but to also grow in their relationship with the Lord.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Directional Devo - Ephesians 1:7-14

We continue today's study we find Paul admonishing the Ephesians to remember that they have been redeemed by the sacrificial death of Christ and that one day he will return for them with the inheritance that he has promised.

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Directional Devo - Ephesians 1:1-6

In today's study we introduce a new book, discuss grace and peace, the blessings to come from our salvation, the difference between election and free will, and the doctrine of imputation.

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